PRESIDENT Obama and Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for
the White House, sought to defend their religious credentials last
week, in an interview with the Washington National
Cathedral magazine, Cathedral Age.
Asked to respond to those who have "questioned the sincerity" of
his Christian faith, President Obama said: "I have a job to do as
President, and that does not involve convincing folks that my faith
in Jesus is legitimate and real.
"I do my best to live out my faith, and to stay in the Word, and
to make my life look more like His. I'm not perfect. What I can do
is just keep on following Him, and serve others - trying to make
folks' lives a little better using this humbling position that I
President Obama said that his Christian faith "has grown as
President. This office tends to make a person pray more; and as
President Lincoln once said, 'I have been driven to my knees many
times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to
In the interview, Mr Romney steered clear of talking
specifically about his Mormon faith, which has provoked the
disapproval of Republican Evangelical voters. He said: "I believe
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour of mankind. . .
Faith is integral to my life. . . My faith is grounded in the
conviction that a consequence of our common humanity is our
responsibility to one another - to our fellow Americans foremost,
but also to every child of God."
The RC Archbishop of New York, and President of the US
Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is to
deliver the closing benediction at the Republican National
Convention, in Florida, it was announced last week.
The announcement provoked accusations from some commentators
that the RC Bishops were too close to the Republican Party.
On Tuesday, however, the Catholic Bishops' Conference announced
that Cardinal Dolan had accepted an invitation to say the closing
prayers at the Democratic National Convention, next Thursday. A
spokesman for the archdiocese of New York said: "It was made clear
to the Democratic Convention organisers, as it was to the
Republicans, that the Cardinal was coming solely as a pastor, only
to pray, not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate."
It was reported last week that the Revd Rick Warren, pastor of
Saddleback Church, in California, had cancelled a "forum" at his
church, at which the presidential candidates had been scheduled to
Mr Warren told the Orange County Register newspaper
that such a forum was "meant to be a place where people of goodwill
can seriously disagree on significant issues without being
disagreeable or resorting to personal attack and name-calling. But
that is not the climate of today's campaign. I've never seen more
irresponsible personal attacks, mean-spirited slander, and flat-out
dishonest attack ads, and I don't expect that tone to change before
"It would be hypocritical to pretend civility for one evening
only, [only] to have the name-calling return the next day."